When I was a kid, I used to ski to school whenever I could. If you ever go to a mountain resort and see antique Nordic ski equipment hanging on the wall, I probably used it at some point. I had snowshoes, too, but those are an awful lot of work. I think the skis I used must have weighed 20 pounds each, and with the poles (steel!) and boots, probably outweighed me.
If you’ve ever done any cross-country (Nordic) skiing, you know there is a rhythm to it; a slight crouch, push off on one ski, lift and slide the other ski forward, glide, crouch, repeat. You use the poles, too, pushing off with the opposite arm (right ski, left pole). Your arms are actually doing a lot of work. It’s great exercise, and a lot of fun.
In 1975, a skier named Edward Pauls was out on a particularly crappy day, and was wondering if he could duplicate the experience of Nordic skiing indoors. The result was the NordicTrack. In the early 1980′s, I came across one of these beasties in a YMCA I was visiting. First thing, right off the bat, I fell off. Second thing, I got back on, with a big silly grin on my face.
The reason I fell off was that it was almost exactly like cross-country skiing, and falling is always one of the first things you do. I bought one, I still have it, and I still use it more than thirty years later. The current model available today is essentially unchanged. It is no longer as popular (NordicTrack is big into treadmills, but also own Healthrider, Reebok, Epic and Proform), but it is hands down the best piece of exercise equipment I’ve ever seen.
So my miracle for the day is that I’m going to put on my slippers, step onto the NordicTrack, and go skiing in my bedroom.